Monday, May 30, 2011

Hamas, Fatah and Obama

The past week has seen some curious developments in relation to the conflict between Israel and the Arabs.

We have seen and heard US President Barak Obama, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's response and speech to Congress.

The Palestinian reaction to Netanyahu's speech was reported locally in an unusual manner. Predictably, Jason Koutsoukis in the Age slavishly provided the PA and Hamas viewpoint that Netanyahu's words represented a virtual declaration of war - Palestinian fury over Israeli PM's border stance.

Koutsoukis cites an array of Palestinian leaders all singing from the same hymn book - each and every one of them ignoring what Netanyahu said. But let's face it, if you read his words, you cannot interpret them as meaning anything of the sort which leads one to conclude that the Palestinian leadership under the new unity regime is simply not interested in a negotiated settlement and is instead dedicated to unilateral action through a proposal in the UN to have a Palestinian State declared. With Hamas involved such a state would be the world's first internationally recognised terror state.

The Australian editorial on Friday got it right - Shaping Palestine's destiny. The editorial maintains that "exaggerated rhetoric is a sure way to avoid peace".

When he addressed the US congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a telling point that should have been immediately embraced by Palestinian leaders. To change the course of history, he argued, all Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas had to do was utter six words: "I will accept a Jewish state." Mr Netanyahu pledged that with those six words "the Israeli people will be prepared to make a far-reaching compromise".

Unsurprisingly, Mr Netanyahu's suggestion has fallen on deaf Palestinian ears. So, too, has the rest of his speech in which he pointed out that the conflict with the Palestinians is not about the establishment of a Palestinian state, on which all are agreed, but Israel's right to exist.

Mr Abbas's spokesman, Nabil Shaath, mindlessly labelled the speech a declaration of war against the Palestinians, a claim that underlines the reality that until the Palestinian leadership emerges from its state of delusion, peace prospects are bleak.

Koutsoukis not only fails to recognise the exaggerated rhetoric but he must also have a bad memory because, back in January, it was revealed in his own newspaper that the PA had been negotiating in 2008 along similar lines to those which they now now regard as a declaration of war. It was an own goal by the Age then and remains so now.

Palestinian journalist Khalid Abu Toameh understands it and is in no mood to sweep it under the carpet like many western journalists - Is Obama a "Zionist Agent"?

"The reason Fatah has refrained from attacking Obama in public is because it needs Washington's financial and political backing.

"What Hamas is saying in public about Obama is what Fatah thinks in private, but is afraid to say."

The Age keeps this to itself - more material for the blank pages.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

al' Koutsoukis is a stooge for the Arabs and Fairfax their mouth piece.

Al'age and SMH[ Syrian Morning Herald] which would do AL Jazeera proud are geared for a anti- Zionist, Arabist audience.